Williams is one of the most popular surname in the United States and Great Britain. It has 3 distinct origins, 1) Williams comes from son or descendant of Guillemin, a pet form of Guillaume, the French form of William. 2) Williams comes from From the Belgic "guild-helm," harnessed with a gilded helmet or "welhelm," the shield or defense of many. 3) Williams is derived from the given name "William," an Old French given name with Germanic elements: wil = desire, will; and helm = helmet, protection. The earliest written reference to the name as a surname occurs in 1279 when Richard William is recorded in the " Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire" in England. The name is first recorded in the New World in 1623 when David Williams and hs wife Elizabeth arrived in Virginia from England. Today the name Williams is the 3rd most popular name in the United States with over 1.5 million bearers of the name living there.
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